• ellengulson

The hard days and an ode to the women who make it better

I’m not someone who has childhood friends who are still in their life. Through a series of poor choices and circumstance in my late teens and early 20s (prioritising boys, travel etc), I lost contact with those school and childhood friends who knew all of my secrets and were friends “no matter what”. This used to really worry me - lamenting memes about the blessings of friends since infancy and wishing away bits of my life which were ultimately hugely formative. The thing is though, as I’m getting older, I’m starting to see the silver lining of having to start from scratch in adulthood with regards to friends. Despite missing those girls (who I occasionally facebook stalk), I realise that this set of choices had led me to some of the most amazing friends and support networks and I can never regret it because of that.

These adult friendships are those I actively made because I admired and respected them. People who share my values and beliefs. People who like me for who I am, not just because we met in childhood. There is the woman I met volunteering who has the same passion for social justice and a love of travel and adventure who has been my confidant and support for 15 years despite almost always living at least 6 hours from each other. The couple who looked after me after losing my first great love and are my role models for both amazing parenting and being a kind and equal spouse. There are the women I met in my mothers groups who I bonded with - not only over nappies and wine, but infertility and loss and feminism and the constant struggle for balance. I can call anyone of these people at anytime of the day or night and they will be there for me. They fill my cup when motherhood depletes me of everything that I have.

To these (mostly) women, I want to say thank you. I could wax lyrical about you for pages, but lets be honest, we all need to get back to making dinner and folding endless piles of laundry. You guys give me the strength to continue on the days where I don’t feel like I have anything left to give. Whether it be something trivial like a poonami or a fight with a boss or sibling, to the bigger life stuff of relationships, illness, redundancy and moves across the country. I hope that I give you all the same level of love that you give to me. You make me a better mum and a better person for knowing you and having you in my life. If I spend my life striving to be the same wonderful friend for you, it will have been time well spent.

I love you all.

(p.s. A shout out to my amazing mother and husband who are my other great supports. Each of you deserves a blog post of your own, which I promise to do at some point!)

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